This is one US import that we could well do without

Mel Gibson as Kurt Mayron, Mark Wahlberg as Dusty Mayron, Will Ferrell as Brad Taggart and John Lithgow as Don Taggart in Daddy's Home 2. Picture: PA Photo/Paramount Pictures/Claire Fogler.

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American imports are nothing new to this country.

From the humble potato to hamburgers and much else besides, these introductions have been a mixed bag.

As is the latest – Black Friday.

It began its life as a day in the US that falls after another American institution, Thanksgiving.

Stores across the land drop their prices massively and shoppers go out in their thousands to try to bag a bargain.

And now, it seems, it’s here.

As we report today, shops across this area did their bit to cash in on the frenzy.

And shoppers didn’t let them down, with many out and about early in a bid to make sure they got a bargain.

So far, so good. But let’s take a step back.

We’re already approaching the season dedicated to huge spending where families, rich and poor, feel the pressure to turn up with the best gifts for their loved ones or this year’s must-have toy for little Charlie.

Of course, retailers will do well out of this.

But it’s the big names that benefit the most, not the independent stores run and owned locally.

And what of those people for who this time of year is a struggle.

Surely Black Friday is just more pressure to be out their consuming.

The message is SPEND, SPEND, SPEND.

In these austere times, that’s not necessarily the right one to be giving out.

So while of course we don’t begrudge those who made the effort to bag that big telly or found the coffee maker of their dreams at rock-bottom prices, we would suggest a pause for thought.

Just what is Black Friday really for and who benefits the most?

It most certainly is not the shopper.